Read this if you’re sad that you’re single on Valentine’s Day

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Today is the day that most people flaunt their relationships in social media about how happy and meant to be they are. But for some people, it can be a day that reminds them of how super single they are and how lonely it is to have no one to hold hands with, to not have any dinner plans with nor have anyone bring you flowers in the office. I have nothing against Valentine’s Day. In fact, I love “LOVE DAY” It has become one of my favorite holidays and it’s not because I’m in a relationship or anything like that —but simply because it’s a day when we can celebrate love in general.

I’m not even going to sit here and pretend that I wasn’t one of those people who once didn’t like celebrating this day. I’ve obviously been broken hearted more than I ever wanted to feel the heart wrenching pain—–I’ve felt lonely and been very annoyed by those couples who just flaunt their love in front of the world. But when i look back and ask myself “why am i so upset and caught up?” —then did I only realize that I had my own demons to silence and my past to let go of. If you just got out of a relationship or trying to get over someone, I was there in your position a year ago and I’m here to tell you that time does heal all wounds. You just have to go with it —feel the pain, recognize it and live. One day you’ll wake up and realize that it’s gone because you kept on going.

Also, whether you sulk here all night and day, people all over the world will still fall in love anyways. So you can’t be upset at people for falling in love, love is love. Sometimes we tend to forget that there’s different kinds of love. It’s not just romantic love —there’s self love, love for your friends, family, for God, for your pets! Every time I look back in my life, when I’m at my lowest —these love that these people had for me were the ones that sustained me and helped me to keep going and to move forward on the other side. It’s at these lowest moments of my life, when I was at my worst —did they not give up on me. They believed in me, corrected me, fought with me to get me to get me back on the right track. So today —on love day, I will not forget everyone that helped me become who I am now and be better. This is one of the best days to celebrate our love with everyone we love. So if you’re out here sad that you’re single, call your grandparents and tell them how much you miss them and love them, or your parents and how much you appreciate them, or hang out with the rest of your single friends and go dancing or simply stay home and cuddle with your pets.

Plus, tomorrow all the chocolates will be on sale!!! So instead of sulking because you currently don’t have the love of your life in front of you right now, appreciate the other loves of your life that you currently have. And I promise you that one day he/she will come in your life and it will change everything. All your questions, fears and confusion will be silenced. But for now, just enjoy your single life. I’ve always thought about it this way —if I ever get married someday, i will have the rest of my life to spend with that one person; therefore, before I get there I would like to do as much as I can before I consider someone else’s opinions/needs along with mine.

My hope for you is that may you see today in a different light —there’s too much in this world that hasn’t happened to you yet. Don’t let your past or that one guy/girl who broke your heart steal your joy. Go out there and have fun! Celebrate the fact that you’re still alive and you still have a chance to meet the love of your life someday (or today or tomorrow), make new friends, land your dream job or travel somewhere you’ve never been before.

I made this dress for my Valentine’s shoot that I collaborated with one of my close friends, Eddie. Isn’t he so talented?! I love that he always makes my photos look so whimsical and magical. I was so inspired by Rita Ora’s and Liam Payne’s For You Music Video and fell in love with her dress at first sight that I wanted to recreate it. We also tried to do some levitation shots as they were levitating towards the end of the music video. Can I  just say that it is not as easy as what they make it seem!? This is probably one of the hardest shoots I’ve ever done but also one of my favorites! 🙂

Happy Valentine’s Day Loves!

XOXO,

Joy

Metanoia

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metanoia (n.) the journey of changing one’s mind, self or way of life

These photos were taken approximately three months ago in Alabama Hills, where we celebrated one of my best friend’s birthday. Funny how life happens and change, as I grew up, I realized it becomes less important to have a ton of friends, and more important to have real ones.

Not So Fun Fact About Me: I moved around schools growing up – so I was always the new girl that everybody judged at the beginning and by the time I felt like I found my group of friends, it’s time to move again. Because of this, I learned how to adapt to my surroundings very quickly —although I still had a difficult time finding my real friends. Growing up, I’ve always felt like I was “too much” for most people or “too good” and I had a hard time feeling at home or finding my tribe.

For years, I’ve prayed and hoped to find some weirdos that like adventures, taking pictures, brunching, being silly and creative, laughing, being on the go, who aren’t afraid to get real with you and bring you back to ground and reality as I’m often day dreaming somewhere up in the clouds in la la land. I’m glad to say that I finally found them after twenty six years— they were worth every wait. I realized what true friendship was once I met people who would always love me with my imperfect self, confused self, and my wrong self.

And because of them, i’ve learned more about myself than I ever did before. Recently, a good friend of mine made me realize that I like to run away and not deal with relationship/personal issues because it scares me to face them; so often times, I mask my problems with work, other activities until it ends up blowing in my face. I’ve also learned that we are often attracted to the same kind of people for a reason — are they filling in a void? and if so, what is that void and why? However, as I look back for the past three months, I actually feel wiser and stronger that somewhere along the line I feel like a different person. I’m no longer afraid to tackle things that I normally would prefer not to deal with. Often times, I still need a bit of a push but I am thankful to have found the courage through my experiences and the mistakes I’ve made from the past.

What do you think about this dress that I made for this shoot? Also, as January is ending have you thought about all the things you’ve learned from last year already? They say that January is the trial month! Sadly, you only have a few days left. 😉

XOXO,

Joy

 

Togetherness, Family & Love

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Merry Christmas! The Holiday season can bring some really mixed feelings for so many of us. Some holidays are filled with new beginnings and some tears or prayers unanswered or battles that need to be fought or loneliness or happiness. Fortunately, I am blessed to have a close knit family who is built with traditions, togetherness, strength, communication, hope and love. Earlier this year, I was planning to spend the holidays in Bali with one of my best friends —- now I can actually say that I’m glad that it didnt work out as nothing can ever replace being home with my family. Every year my family and I visit my relatives in the Bay Area and each year, we never fail to take Christmas very seriously, laugh, play and steal each other’s presents as we play “white elephant” and exchange gifts.

If you know me – you know for sure that I like to travel everywhere and have the need to explore; however, as I look back at my trips, my favorite ones are the ones that I get to spend some time and make new memories with the ones I love the most — my family and best friends. I take these special days to focus on the important things in life — and it’s not the presents that I receive or material things — it’s togetherness, family and love. It’s the light within us that shines brightly when we’re going through difficulties. Every tear, wait, confusion, “no”, breakdowns, setbacks and fear was worth every moment of every laughter, peace and contentment knowing that everything works our the way it’s suppose to. If you are where I was last year, I hope you can take comfort in knowing that every setback makes this moment now so much better whether you celebrate Christmas or not. I may not have all the answers now or not have everything together but I am content with knowing that if we just let go and let God or the universe (whatever you believe in) do all the work, everything will fall into place. May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope; the spirit of Christmas which is peace; and the heart of Christmas which is love.

Wishing you a happy, merry, joyful Christmas from my imperfect family to yours! ❤

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Twenty Eight

Since it’s my birthday today, I decided to share twenty eight things I’ve learned in life and a little bit of things about me.

1. My first name is actually Christine. Joy is my middle name.

2. I have an online mermaid shop with my bestfriend yet I can’t swim.

3. I change my hair color every season or depending how I feel.

4. I knew I was going to be a fashion designer since I was a little kid.

5. Although, if I wasn’t going to pursue design – I wanted to be either an English teacher or an actress.

6. Freedom and honesty are very important to me. I like having lots of space and some alone time and I’d rather get hurt than being lied to.

7. I love dressing up, crafting and sewing.

8. I’m deathly scared of heights and get anxiety. I attempted to go rock climbing once – never again.

9. But I’ve gone sky diving and absolutely loved it.

10. I have a heart shaped scar on my ankle.

11. I’ve learned that life isn’t a race. Everyone has their own timing and everything works out the way it’s suppose to be.

12. I LOVE laughing, adventures, planning and having something to look forward to.

13. I plan my weekends three months ahead of time.

14. But I also like being spontaneous and doing things just because.

15. I hate it when people tell me what to do.

16. My dog Coco is my baby. I like to dress her up and bring her with me everywhere.

17. Family time is very important to me.

18. I have a tight group of friends who are my family and I believe in Drake’s “no new friends” motto.

19. I used to be more open on letting people in easily in my life but over the years, I’ve been burned and stabbed in the back many times that I’ve found out the ones that stayed through it all are the ones worth keeping and I’m content with that.

20. I’m a workaholic and I’m absolutely obsessed with coffee.

21. I like to do a lot of things at the same time until I physically can’t anymore like literally – sometimes I get sick from overbooking myself thinking I can do everything.

22. Heart break changes you. Once you go through it – you’ll never be the same person you were before. It may suck while you’re going through it, but I promise you’ll come out better, stronger and wiser if you allow yourself to heal.

23. Almost relationships are the worst. They break you in many ways you didn’t know possible. But because of them you learn to never settle for anything less than what you deserve.

24. I have six different kinds of laugh and say many random things. If you hang out with me long enough, I can guarantee you’ll start laughing like me and will start using my sayings.

25. I use traveling and doing photoshoots as my escape. I hate being at the same place for a long period of time and I have this constant need to see what else is out there and experience everything.

26. I get bored and get distracted easily – so you’ll always probably find me doing something new or trying another hobby.

27. I love hard and I’m learning to accept that it’s okay—- you fall for the wrong people and that’s part of life. Although, I’m also now learning to be smarter when it comes to love and make sure that the next person I fall for deserves the kind of love that I give.

28. Every time you feel like you’re at your lowest, confused or you just don’t know what to do or how to process things – take your time and slow down but don’t stay there —— Learn it from someone who likes to rush everything. Not everything needs to be fixed now or have all the answers to everything now. Ask yourself why a million times and seek the root of the issue- and once you understand it, you’ll know what to do.

I know this a bit different from my other blog posts but since it’s my 28 birthday today, I thought why not share a little bit of some personal experiences, mistakes and wisdom!

XOXO,

Joy

Wild wild wild thoughts

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Happy Friday!!!

I’m so stoked to announced that I finally got my first published fashion editorial. You can grab your own copy from http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1350711
This look and shoot is inspired by Rihanna’s music video “Wild Thoughts” One of my talented photographer friends, Star asked me to collab and at that time I was obsessed with this song and Rihanna’s outfits so I decided to make inspired looks from her video. Star is one amazing photographer, videographer and her other talent, baker! 😉 Follow her adventures and see her passionate work at https://www.instagram.com/starrchez/
What did you guys think of this look and this shoot?
As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t been doing lots of shoots lately for the past few weeks, I’ve decided to take a break and realign my priorities. I think for the past few months, I’ve just been having so much fun shooting that I might’ve overlooked some of my adulthood responsibilities #sadness #adultingishard But with that said and done, I don’t want to give up something that I absolutely love and am very passionate about. I will still be making outfits, keep modeling and keep doing photo shoots; although, this time I would like them to be more like this shoot – themed and very centered and somehow find a way to balance my modeling life along with spending some time with my family, my friends, my dog baby, work, adventuring and traveling.
I hope you all have an amazing weekend and may you never stop dreaming and working for your dreams!
XOXO,
Joy

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It should be really obvious that I love dressing up… probably one of the reasons why October is my second favorite month and Halloween is my second favorite Holiday after December and Christmas.

As soon as October hits, I normally like to dress up and blog about different Halloween costumes. A lot of times people ask me why i like shooting, dressing up or making costumes.. Frankly, it makes me feel alive. I love that fantasy of it all and the creativity that’s put into it. I love that in that moment, I can be whoever I want, be in character and forget about everything around me for a quick second. I’ve also wanted to be an actress growing up, I’ve always loved expressing myself and my emotions and impersonating others —but since I decided to pursue design instead,  I guess when
i found my love for modeling and blogging – it made me realize it’s sorta like acting when you’re in character —- but in a sense shooting has also become like an escape and a hobby for me. I also love that I get to work with talented photographers and collaborate on creating something with them.
If you have no clue who I dressed up as, you have to go see Suicide Squad. It came out in the movies last year and the moment I saw Harley Quinn, I told myself that I want to dress up as her one of these days! I absolutely love that she’s crazy, exciting, colorful and a rebel. Therefore; i made a Harley Quinn inspired a two piece inspired outfit and played around with my hair and make up based on the movie. What do you guys think about this look? Do you know who you’re dressing up as for Halloween yet?
XOXO,
Joy

Dia De Los Muertos

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“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside of us while we live.”- Norman Cousins

Are you afraid of death? I know it’s a touching subject and not everyone wants to talk about it.
Some people are. Some people arent. I’m surprisingly not as I’ve accepted it’s going to happen either way but I’m more afraid on how it’s going to happen. Is it going to hurt? Am I going to be surrounded by the people I love and care the most? Although. I dont really think about it much, I think about the life I have now and how much I want to live it before I run out of time.
Some of you may know that I grew up in the Philippines and I came here when I was 12 years old. We didn’t celebrate Halloween —maybe that’s one of the reasons why I love it sooo much because I was deprived of all the dressing up and free candies… and yes, I still trick or treat… (judge all you want) However, we have what we call “All Saints Day” which was normally celebrated on the eve of November 1st. My whole family and I would go to the cemetery and visit our loved ones who has passed and spend the night over there with candles and just relive the moments we had with our loved ones. I was still a child back then and didnt really know much why we do this —all i know is I get to go to the cemetery and play with my cousins and there’s pretty lit candles all around. Now that I’m an adult, I appreciate this practice more.
Now that I live here in Southern California, I learned about “The Day of the Dead” and there’s so much more about the pretty painted faces. I’ve learned that it comes from early cultures’ beliefs about death that later mixed with Christianity. It is based on the idea that the spirits return at that time of year. Customs around Halloween seem to stem from the idea that the spirits were malevolent (children were disguised so that they wouldn’t be harmed), whereas in Day of the Dead festivities, the spirits are joyfully welcomed as family members that one hasn’t seen in a year. So for this shoot, I made a black tight fitted dress with scallop edge hem as I thought it would go with the theme and I wanted it to be a bit more fashion forward. What do you guys think about this dress?
How do you celebrate Halloween? What do you think about these different practices around the world?
XOXO,
Joy